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Ramon Maldonado, Plaintiffs, v. United States District Court, E. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington. Editors Note Applicable Law: False Claims Act Source: RegardRegard Law Group.
Department of Justice – Civil Division.
The United States filed a notice of its election to decline intervention on February 15, After Maldonado served the defendants, the United States and the defendants filed separate motions to dismiss.
The Court scheduled the matter for oral argument and Maldonado subsequently moved for an evidentiary hearing. Hudd the reasons that follow, Maldonado’s motion for an evidentiary hearing will be denied, the United States’ motion firm dismiss will be granted, and the defendants’ motions to dismiss will be denied, as moot.
The program requires the lender to make a determination that the property and borrower are eligible for mortgage insurance according to HUD’s requirements. It includes various questions pertaining to whether the property in question meets minimum standards required for FHA insurability.
This form is submitted to the lender, as well as an hus, and must be completed before a borrower may be approved for an FHA loan. Maldonado alleges that he purchased a new-construction home from Defendant Ball 925541 in March The home is located at Foxglove Point in Lexington, Kentucky, and is part of the “Chilesburg development.
VA Loan Reader Questions: Construction Exhibits
Maldonado contends that portions of the certification were false, including part 1 fwhich certified that the home site “did not have any earth fill. Maldonado also claims that Conley falsely certified that she had personally reviewed the “plans, specifications, and site information,” when, in fact, she lacked the personal information necessary to complete the Form.
Indeed, American Mortgage underwrote the loan and, according to Maldonado, collected underwriting fees, as well as principal and interest payments. Maldonado claims that, “on information and belief,” Walden had knowledge of falsified HUD forms for other homes in the Chilesburg development. Maldonado contends that numerous people acted in reliance on the allegedly falsified Form.
First, he claims that he was forced to rely on the false builder’s certification to be able purchase the home. He further contends that the FHA appraiser relied on the Form to complete the required appraisal of the home. Maldonado claims that his home is defective for a variety of reasons, including “settling soils, water problems, and other construction related issues.
He alleges that, “based on information and belief,” Ball Homes and Walden have utilized “this same scheme” to obtain FHA-insured loans throughout Lexington, Kentucky, and perhaps in other states. Maldonado voluntarily dismisses Count 5 “Violation 18 U.
Part 51 ” of the Complaint. The False Claims Act forbids presenting false or fraudulent claims, or using false statements that are material to false or fraudulent claims, that are submitted to the federal government for payment. If the government declines to intervene in the action as it did in this casethe person bringing the action has the right to conduct it. However, the government still has the authority to make certain decisions, which include dismissing the case over the relator’s objection.
The courts have developed two differing standards for evaluating government requests to dismiss qui tam actions. Compare United States ex rel. Circuit that the government has virtually unfettered discretion to dismiss a qui tam action. United States ex rel. The standard another judge of this Court previously adopted is in keeping with the plain language of 31 U. See also Heckler v. Maldonado urges the Court to deviate from the previous unpublished decision in Levine and apply the more stringent test announced in Sequoia Orange.
As explained in Levine, the plain language of the statute says nothing about the government being required to make any sort of showing in support of its motion to dismiss.
But even if the Court applied the more searching standard announced in Sequoia, the government has established that its motion to dismiss should be granted. Despite its decision to decline intervention, the United States remains the real party in interest.
Although Maldonado insists that the United States would not be required to invest any of its resources, the government has an obvious interest in monitoring an action brought in its name. As the United States pointed out during oral argument, government participation necessarily is required to prove violations of the FCA. Aside from participating in discovery, the United States would be required to monitor pleadings and participate in any mediation or settlement negotiations.
It is clearly unreasonable to suggest that the government should sit by idly while Maldonado prosecutes an action in the United States’ interest. The Court is also mindful that the government has a valid interest in reining in weak qui tam actions.
The United States reports that it has performed an independent investigation and also has reviewed discovery material from Maldonado’s forn court action against Ball Homes. The attorney for Ball Homes also describes the hjd extensive investigation that took place over a significant period of time.
The Complaint suggests that the FHA would not have insured loans for homes constructed on sites with earth fill. However, HUD Form permits homebuilders to use earth fill; it simply requires them to supply additional information before for, lender makes a determination on FHA insurance.
Accordingly, as fotm United States notes, Maldonado has failed to 9251 a strong connection between the allegedly false statements and FHA’s willingness to insure the loans. Further, the Sixth Circuit has determined that particularized allegations of a false claim submitted for payment to the federal government—as opposed to a mere false scheme—are required to advance beyond the pleading stage. Maldonado does not claim that he defaulted on his FHA loan, requiring the federal government make a payment based on the defendants’ submission of a false claim or statement.
In fact, he has not identified with specificity a single false claim for payment. Maldonado “believe[s] that the FHA has paid nearly 12 million dollars based on the defendants’ alleged conduct. Maldonado has provided no such basis here. Finally, the Court concludes that Maldonado is not entitled fform an evidentiary hearing. This Court has concluded that the government has virtually unfettered discretion to dismiss a False Claims Act case, save exceptional circumstances, such as a showing of fraud on the Court.
It follows that exceptional circumstances are the only ones that would warrant conducting an evidentiary hearing. Even the Ninth Circuit which applies the less deferential “rational relation” standard to the government’s motion to dismiss has recognized, “[i]t is not clear whether in practice this notice and hearing requirement has amounted to much of a hurdle for the government.
Contrary to Maldonado’s motion, he has not identified “existing evidence” that the United States has unreasonably failed to consider in electing to dismiss this hur. Instead, he seeks to conduct a mini-trial on the merits, calling numerous witnesses, to develop evidence for the government to consider.
The United States and the defendants’ hid have described the government’s investigatory efforts and Assistant United States Attorney reports having met with Maldonado several times. Additionally, he was afforded a hearing during which he argued in open court against the government’s motion for dismissal. This is all that is required under 31 U. Finally, Maldonado requests leave to amend his Complaint to “clarify his allegations.
App’x6th Cir. However, Maldonado has failed to state the nature of his proposed amendments. Further, his written disclosure statement and an affidavit from his attorney suggest that he is aware of no facts that could save his Complaint from dismissal. Listed below are the cases that are cited in this Featured Case.
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